Do you ever feel like you're alone in experiencing inconsistent or heavy-handed MSHA enforcement? If so, there's a new website where mine operators from around the country are able to share their experiences, post citations they have received, and learn more about MSHA enforcement nationwide.
UPDATE: On August 1, 2013, the full Senate by unanimous consent confirmed Robert F. Cohen Jr. and William I. Althen to serve on teh Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.
A few weeks ago, I blogged about a Congressional Field Hearing to be held in North Carolina about "Building a Better Partnership" between the industry and MSHA. The hearing was held on June 21 and three industry representatives were able to publicly disclose some of the many issues presented by the current MSHA administration. Though it remains unclear whether Congress will take any action as a result, this hearing represents an important step toward ...
First of all, yes, I'm telling you that (at least in most cases) suing your former employees may not be the best labor relations strategy, unless of course they are violating a valid non-compete or misappropriating your Company's trade secrets. Recently, a coal company learned that suing a former employee for filing a "fraudulent" discrimination complaint can be a violation of the Mine Act.
In Armstrong Coal Company, Judge Feldman found that the Mine Act ...
Some mining industry professionals would say that this hearing is long overdue, but let's all focus on the old adage, better late than never. On Friday, June 21, U.S. House of Representatives Member Mark Meadows (NC) is hosting a field hearing in Mitchell County, North Carolina entitled "Building a Better Partnership: Exploring the Mine Safety and Health Administration's Regulaiton of Southern Appalachian Mining." This important field hearing is being conducted through the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's Subcommittee on Government Operations.
Recently, Congressional Democrats introduced the Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act of 2013, which if enacted would increase the authority of MSHA to regulate the mining industry. Yes, you read that right, increase MSHA's authority, not decrease. You may be thinking to yourself by now, "How is this possible?!?"
Still reacting to the tragic disaster at Upper Big Branch in 2010, MSHA has convinced some of our Representatives that it needs more ...
Mine operators have long relied on the protections of a limited liability company ("LLC") status to shield their individual agents from business-related liability. However, based on a decision from the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (FMSHRC), MSHA can now seek civil and criminal penalties against individual agents of LLC's under Section 110(c) of the Mine Act.
You would be hard-pressed to find someone who has not heard of OSHA. OSHA's presence is felt by employers across broad segments of American industry, from construction to food service. What many people don't realize, however, is the pervasiveness of OSHA's (older) sister agency, the Mine Safety and Health Administration, or MSHA.
Medical records are generally considered to be private information--protected from disclosure by federal and/or state law--but that didn't stop the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals from deciding that MSHA has the authority to review miners' medical and personnel records.
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) recently released a Final Rule (summary version/full version) that significantly changes the way the Agency charged with protecting America's miners uses one of its most powerful enforcement tools: pattern of violations (POV). Under the Mine Act, MSHA has the authority to issue a pattern of violations notice to mine operators with a pattern of recurrent significant and substantial (S&S) violations.